Ask DN: What video games have the best UI?

over 9 years ago from TJ Taylor, Design Director @ Benchmark

  • Elliot BentleyElliot Bentley, over 9 years ago (edited over 9 years ago )

    Metroid Prime totally set the benchmark for immersive first-person HUDs before they became commonplace in games. Plus I love the way the different visors (scan, thermal, x-ray) each have a distinctive take on the default one.

    Metroid Prime

    3 points
    • Nathan CooperNathan Cooper, over 9 years ago (edited over 9 years ago )

      This is a great example. Deadspace is cited by several people, myself included, but this was a precursor to that in many respects.

      I really liked how the UI was curved to match the contour of Samus' visor and that some of the visor was visible in Samus' field-of-view when playing. There were moments when a flash in the game would cause a reflection of her face to appear on the visor glass. That was a great detail.

      1 point
    • Brett JonesBrett Jones, over 9 years ago

      Oh man this. There were so many delightful details in the Prime Trilogy's helmet–projected user interfaces.

      1 point
    • Andrew CrockerAndrew Crocker, over 9 years ago

      Metroid Prime really was a great series. Metroid Prime 2 had a menu system that was kinda-sorta the precursor to the modern radial menu.

      Metroid Prime 2 menu

      You move the analogue stick to sort-of rotate the central area. It was one of the first - that I remember - UIs to take advantage of the analogue sticks and make something that wouldn't work with a D-Pad. I also liked that every item on the menu was only one move away, much better than the traditional list menu in that regard.

      In practice it was a little frustrating to use. :)

      It should be to be seen in motion to be understood. Hit mute first, the talking is annoying:

      1 point
      • Elliot BentleyElliot Bentley, over 9 years ago

        It was an interest concept, to be sure, but I also remember menus with multiple options in that game being a game of luck. The 3D maps, on the other hand, we're a joy to interact with.

        0 points